Hungarian forint

Hungarian forint

Infobox Currency
currency_name_in_local = Magyar forint hu icon
image_1 = HUF 20000 1999 obverse.jpg
image_title_1 = 20000 forints
iso_code = HUF
using_countries = flag|Hungary
inflation_rate = 6.5%
subunit_ratio_1 = 1/100
subunit_name_1 = fillér
subunit_inline_note_1 = (defunct)
symbol = Ft
plural = forint
used_coins = 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 forint
coin_article = Coins of the Hungarian forint
used_banknotes = 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10 000, 20 000 forint
banknote_article = Banknotes of the Hungarian forint
issuing_authority_website =
printer = Hungarian National Bank / Magyar Nemzeti Bank
printer_website =
mint = Hungarian Mint Ltd.
mint_website =

The forint (currency code "HUF") is the currency of Hungary. It is divided into 100 fillér, although fillér coins have not been in circulation since 1999.


The forint's name comes from the city of Florence, where golden coins were minted from 1252 called "fiorino d'oro". In Hungary, "florentinus" (later "forint"), also a gold-based currency, was used from 1325 under Charles Robert and several other countries followed its example.

Between 1868 and 1892, the forint was the name used in Hungarian for the currency of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, known in German as the Austro-Hungarian gulden or Austrian florin. It was subdivided into 100 krajczár ("krajcár" in modern Hungarian).

The forint was reintroduced on 1 August 1946, after the 1945-1946 hyperinflation of the pengő. The process was managed by the Hungarian Communist Party, which held the relevant ministry seats, and the forint's success was exploited for political gains, contributing to the 1948-49 communist take-over of state powers. The forint replaced the pengő at the rate of 1 forint = 4×1029 pengő. In fact, this was an imaginary exchange rate, since the whole amount of pengő in circulation had a value of less than one forint at this rateFact|date=September 2007. Of more significance was the exchange rate to the adópengő of 1 forint = 200 million adópengő.

Historically the forint was subdivided into 100 "fillér", although fillér have been rendered useless by inflation and have not been in circulation since 1996. The Hungarian abbreviation for forint is "Ft", which is written after the number with a space between. The name fillér, the subdivision of all Hungarian currencies since 1925, comes from the German word "Heller". The abbreviation for the fillér is "f", written also after the number with a space in between.

After its 1946 introduction, the forint remained stable for several years, but started to lose its purchasing power as the state-socialist economic system lost its competitiveness during the 1970s and 1980s. After the democratic change of 1989-90, the forint saw yearly inflation figures of app. 35% for three years, but significant market economy reforms helped stabilize it. Since year 2000 the relatively high value of forint (especially compared to the falling US dollar and to some extent to the euro) handicaps the strongly export-oriented Hungarian industry against foreign competitors with lower valued currencies.

As part of Hungary's integration into the European Union and its euro currency, the forint is slated to disappear circa 2012-2014, depending on the economic situation. As of autumn 2005, there is a strong disagreement between the Hungarian National Bank and the government whether EU-mandated low inflation figures and reduced foreign debt aims can be fulfilled by 2010. The situation threatens to make Hungary the last to adopt the euro currency of the ten countries that joined the EU in 2004. The forint was pegged to the euro until 26 February 2008.


In 1947, coins (dated 1946) were introduced in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 fillér, 1, 2 and 5 forint. The silver 5 forint was only issued that year. In 1967, a 5 forint coin was reintroduced, followed by a 10 forint in 1971 and 20 forint in 1982

In 1992, a new series of coins was introduced with denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 forint [] . Production of the 2 and 5 fillér ceased in 1975, with all fillér coins withdrawn from circulation by 1996. From 1996, a bimetallic 100 forint coin was minted to replace the 1992 version, since the latter was considered to be too big and ugly, and could be easily mistaken with the 20 forint coin.

A 200 forint coin was made of .500 fine silver. From 1994, mass minting of the 200 Ft coin was stopped, since the price of the metal was getting higher than the face value of the coin. However, small issues for collector purposes were minted until 1998, when both the 1992 type 100 forint and the 200 forint coins were withdrawn from circulation.

The 1 and 2 forint coins remained in circulation until February 29, 2008. After this date cash transactions were rounded to the closest 5 forints.

In June 2008, the National Bank of Hungary announced plans for a new 200 forint coin. In September, they decided it will have a diameter of 28.3 mm, it will be bimetal, and will be introduced in the first half of 2009.


In 1946, 10 and 100 forint notes were introduced by the "Magyar Nemzeti Bank" (Hungarian National Bank). These were followed by 20 forint notes the next year, whilst 50 forint notes were added in 1951. 500 forint notes were introduced in 1969, followed by 1000 forint in 1983, 5000 forint in 1990, 2000 and 10,000 forint in 1998, and 20,000 forint in 1999.

The recent series of forint banknotes with improved security features [] was introduced from 1997 onwards. Each banknote depicts a famous Hungarian leader or politician on the obverse and a place related to him on the reverse. All of the banknotes are watermarked, contain an embedded vertical security strip of thin metal and suitable for the visually impaired people. As of April 2006 the 1000 forint note has added a copper holographic security strip. The 2000 forint and higher denominations are also protected by an interwoven silver-coloured holographic security strip, whilst the updated 1000 forint note contains a red copper coloured holographic strip. The notes share the common size of 154 × 70 mm. The banknotes are printed by the [ Hungarian Banknote Printing Corp.] in Budapest on the paper manufactured by the [ Diósgyőr Papermill] in Miskolc.

Forgery of forint is not significant but sometimes colour photocopiers are abused by teenagers to produce low quality fake money for shopping and gambling purposes. For foreign visitors to Hungary, the main danger lies in exchanging their forint to international currencies. Fake dollars and euro banknotes are commonly disseminated by illegal street money exchangers. For their safety, tourists are advised not to attempt to exchange currency with touts. Legal currency exchange is only available in licensed booths, which always operate under the consortium of some commercial bank and always provide a receipt of the transaction. Clients may be requested to produce a valid photographic ID when exchanging currency. It must be noted that foreign coins are seldom exchanged, and when they are, the exchange is normally done at a rate lower than the spot rate. To avoid hassle with currency exchange, an alternative is to use internationally known and accepted credit cards for payments in Hungary.

In 2006 a special-issue 500-forint note was issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1956 revolution. The picture on the front of the bill is the same as the normal 500-forint note, but with the date October 23, 1956 added, whereas the back has a picture of the Parliament building as well as the revolutionary flag.

Demonetization and withdrawal

The Hungarian National Bank is responsible for maintaining the quality of the notes in circulation, and is therefore licensed to issue new notes and withdraw old ones. The current series of Hungarian Forint banknotes have been circulating for about a decade. The old series, however, lost legal tender value in 1999, and cannot be used in circulation any more. The table below contains the withdrawal dates of the banknotes issued by the Hungarian National Bank.The Hungarian National Bank only exchanges currency issued in forint denominations. Pengő currency can no longer be exchanged. Any forint notes can be exchanged at any of the three offices of the Hungarian National Bank.

On June 6, 2007 The Hungarian National Bank announced the withdrawal of the 1000 forint notes issued until 2004. This affected the 1000 forint notes without the red metallic strip on the obverse side, i.e. also the Millennium issue. These notes remained in circulation until August 31, 2007. After this period, the note may be refused for payment. However, commercial banks may exchange these notes thereafter. The Hungarian National Bank will continue to exchange these notes for twenty years, until August 31, 2027.

Historical exchange rates

Proverbs and expressions in other languages

In Serbian, there is an expression "I haven't got any filler" ("Немам ни филера" - transliteration: "Nemam ni filera"), especially used in Vojvodina, which was part of Hungary for centuries. The equivalent English translation is "I haven't got a penny". Although in Serbia forints and filler have not been in circulation since the 1920s, it is worth noticing that this expression is equivalent to the English expression used in countries that do not use pennies and pounds like Canada, USA and Australia.

ee also

* Hungarian euro coins
* Economy of Hungary


*numis cite SCWC|date=1991
*numis cite SCWPM|date=1994

External links

Standard numismatics external links
world_coin_gallery_1_url = Hungary
world_coin_gallery_1_name = Hungary
banknote_world_1_url = hungary
banknote_world_1_name = Hungary
dollarization_1_url =
dollarization_1_name =
gfd_1_url = Hungary
gfd_1_name = Hungary
gfd_data_1_url = 5347
gfd_data_1_name = Hungary Forint Exchange Rate
show_gfd_excel = Y

* [ Official Daily Exchange Rates Archive] , Hungarian National Bank
* en icon [] (Hungarian banknote catalog)
* en icon [] (Roman and Hungarian related numismatic site)
* [] (pictures of Hungarian banknotes)
* en icon de icon fr icon [] (homepage of the Hungarian Coin Collectors' Society)
* [ Hungarian banknotes] (high resolution pictures, also including old forint banknotes)

Further reading

* cite book | author=Károly Léányfalusi, Ádám Nagy
title=Magyarország fém- és papírpénzei 1946-2006 (Coins and paper money of Hungary 1964-2006)
publisher=Magyar Éremgyűjtők Egyesülete, Budapest
year=2006 | id=ISBN 978-963-7122-16-3


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Coins of the Hungarian forint — Hungarian forint coins (Hungarian: forint érmék) are part of the physical form of current Hungarian currency, the Hungarian forint. Modern forint coins (this name is used to distinguish them from pre 20th century forint coinage) are stroke since… …   Wikipedia

  • Banknotes of the Hungarian forint — Hungarian forint paper money ( hu. forint papírpénz) is part of the physical form of the current Hungarian currency, the Hungarian forint. The forint paper money consists of exclusively banknotes. During its history, denominations ranging from 10 …   Wikipedia

  • HUF (Hungarian Forint) — The currency abbreviation or currency symbol for the Hungarian forint (HUF), the currency for Hungary. The forint is made up of 100 filler and is often presented with the symbol Ft. The forint gets its name from gold coins called fiorino d oro,… …   Investment dictionary

  • Ten Hungarian forint bill (1946) — The 10 Hungarian forint bill printed in 1946 was a denomination of Hungarian forint. It was part of the first forint series (along with the 100 forint bill), which replaced the previous Hungarian currency, the pengő …   Wikipedia

  • Hungarian National Bank — s building, Budapest Headquarter …   Wikipedia

  • Hungarian cuisine — Served Gulyás soup Hungarian or Magyar cuisine is the cuisine characteristic of the nation of Hungary and its primary ethnic group, the Magyars. Traditional Hungarian dishes are primarily based on meats, seasonal vegetables, fruits, fresh bread,… …   Wikipedia

  • Hungarian Ground Forces — The Hungarian Ground Forces are one of the branches of the Hungarian armed forces. It is the army which handles Ground activities and troops including artillery, tanks, APC s, IFV s and ground support. Hungary s Ground forces currently pulled out …   Wikipedia

  • Forint — Staat: Ungarn Unterteilung: 100 Fillér, keine prakt. Bedeutung ISO 4217 Code: HUF Abkürzung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Forint — hongrois Unité monétaire moderne actuelle Pays officiellement utilisateur(s)  Hongrie Appellation locale Forint Code ISO 4217 HUF …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Forint Hongrois — Unité monétaire moderne actuelle Forint hongrois Pays officiellement utilisateur(s) …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.